There are five major parts of the incidental fee setting process.
October 4, 2022
Dear SFC Chair Page, Members of the SFC, Incidental Fee-funded Student Advisory Boards & Budget Managers,
It is the prerogative of the ASOSU Congress, as the elected deliberative body representing the Associated Students of Oregon State University, to identify their budgetary priorities for the incidental fee and all other fees over which the Congress has oversight for the upcoming fiscal year. The Joint Congressional Standing Committee on Budgets, one of the five Joint Standing Committees of the Congress, is authorized by Title II of the ASOSU Statutes to “author summaries on the budget priorities of the Congress prior to Student Fee Committee deliberations.” This letter will detail these priorities identified by the Committee, with the advice of the Congress, for the fiscal year 2024. The Congress and the Joint Budgets Committee have decided to align our budgetary priorities with those of ASOSU President Matteo Paola and the Executive Branch of the ASOSU Student Government. Please see below those priorities, and note that we do not expect every unit to fulfill every one of these goals. The whole incidental fee will be assessed in consideration of these priorities, with funding representing the fulfillment of these objectives.
Move towards a cost of living adjustment of4.75%. With the Consumer Price Index (CPI)currently reaching 8.3%, this Congress understands the struggles that come with that rate being so high. If student wages fail to increase at a rate similar, it will become increasingly hard for students to afford the things that they need to survive. This Congress understands that a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 8.3% is starkly high, which is why we aim to move the COLA to 4.75%. This increase is a number calculated by the SEIU and aligns with the cost of living raise agreed upon for Oregon public university staff. This increase will help to protect students from undue financial hardship and allow them to more easily achieve their goals at this institution.
Addressing food insecurity. As inflation and the additional costs of recovering from a global pandemic compound, many students and members of the Corvallis community find it increasingly difficult to meet the fundamental need of acquiring adequate food and nutrition. It is therefore one of our top priorities to connect students to as many resources as possible that can help provide them with a reliable supply of food, and to continue supporting existing initiatives and infrastructure that align with that goal.
Expanded outreach and programs centered around basic needs accessibility. The university already has a multitude of programs and organizations surrounding the support of basic needs for students, however, there persists a disconnect where the student body continues to lack adequate knowledge of these resources. This Congress supports expanded outreach for the basic needs resources that we already have in order to reach as many students as possible and to build on the existing frameworks.
Connecting students to community safety resources. With an on goingly polarized political climate, harsh economic times with an uncertain future, and local events that have threatened people's safety, the ASOSU Congress recognizes the need to hold safety and security in our priorities. We ask that units help enable students to connect with resources that can aid them in feeling secure in their lives, and we support initiatives that aim to promote a safe and supportive community for our Student Body that we can rely on.
Reduced Use of non-reusables on campus. It is of upmost priority of the 14thCongressto reduce the carbon footprint of the university. There are many degrees to sustainability, one of which is the reduction of waste.We want to express our support for the university’s resources being used towards the reduction of waste that our campus emits, in anyway within each Unit’s control.Investments in sustainable infrastructure and capital projects. This Congress believes it is vital to look to the future when focusing on sustainability. Ways that we urge the university to do so is by investing student funds into green infrastructure and lowering building energy demands. These are projects that will support the community and be a driver in social development and sustainable action.
Sustainable Fiscal Planning. We recognize the diligent efforts of the units in their long term planning to keep the transferred costs to students as affordable as possible.This budget cycle,we’d like to reiterate previous years’ priorities in our request for minimizing fluctuations in fee requests and continuing to budget in a sustainable manner for units and students alike.
Fostering community and individual relationships. Social connections play a direct role in the mental health, academic performance, and quality of life of university students. It is a priority of this Congress to foster interpersonal relationships and community on campus through social events targeting a broad and diverse range of students on campus.
Develop recurring programs that contribute to campus culture year after year. The presence of staple campus traditions and events helps strengthen the sense of identity which ties each of us to one another in our campus community. Under this view,this Congress would appreciate the help and consideration of each of the Units,to their own capacities,in including the development of recurring programs,or avenues of student connection,when evaluating their programming and event's needs.
Increased transparency of student funds. It has become increasingly clear as ASOSU receives input from the student body that students are invested in knowing how their fees and tuition are being allocated, especially as dues continually rise. With this in mind, this Congress requests the units work towards increasing the accessibility of,or awareness to, where any member of the student body may find more detailed information regarding how student fees are allocated within these services.
Connecting students to individual units’ resources. The ASOSU Congress has recognized a serious issue with the connection of students in need to currently existing services that could be of benefit to them. While it is not the responsibility of the Units,as providers of services,to ensure that students do reach out, we hold the accessibility of campus resources to students as a priority,and request that Units continue to work diligently to connect student the resource each unit has to offer.Lastly, we want to sincerely thank you for all of the time and hard work each of you put in on behalf of the students at Oregon State. We are excited to work alongside each of you in this process as we continue to make the safety, happiness,and wellness of each student here our top priority.
Final drafts of unit budget proposals were submitted to SFC Chair Joe Page on December 9, 2022.